The Jordan River in the U.S. state of Utah is a river about 51 miles (82 km) long. Regulated by pumps at its headwaters at Utah Lake, it flows northward through the Salt Lake Valley and empties into the Great Salt Lake. Four of Utah's five largest cities—Salt Lake City, West Valley City, West Jordan and Sandy—border the river. More than a million people live in the Jordan Subbasin, which is the part of the Jordan River watershed that lies within Salt Lake and Davis counties. During the Pleistocene, the area was part of Lake Bonneville.
Members of the Desert Archaic Culture were the earliest known inhabitants of the region; an archaeological site found along the river dates back 3,000 years. Mormon pioneers led by Brigham Young were the first European American settlers, arriving in July 1847 and establishing farms and settlements along the river and its tributaries. The growing population, needing water for drinking, irrigation, and industrial use in an arid climate, dug ditches and canals, built dams, and installed pumps to create a highly regulated river.
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